Outcomes of Continuing Education Programs for Social Workers’ Self-Efficacy towards Job Performance: A Systematic Review
The aim of this systematic review was to identify the outcomes of continuing education programs on social workers’ self-confidence towards job performance. This systematic review was guided by UNC’s Systematic Review Workbook and the Preferred Reporting Items for Systemic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) 2020 Statement. The literature search was completed in July 2023. Databases searched included Academic Search Premier, MEDLINE, and SocINDEX. A total of 133 peer-reviewed journal articles published in 2011-2023 that evaluated outcomes of continuing education programs for social workers were identified. Covidence software was used to present and synthesize results. Two reviewers independently analyzed fulltexts and assessed quality and biases. Seven journal articles met the inclusion criteria. The fulltext review revealed five common outcomes: professional development, enhanced practice skills, increased knowledge, preliminary effectiveness, and increased self-confidence towards job tasks. Based on these findings, continuing education programs have some positive outcomes. However, there were no comparison groups or randomized control trials used in the included studies. None of the studies are generalizable due to biases and small sample populations. Therefore, this systematic review is a first step to gaining a greater understanding of continuing education programs’ utility, feasibility, and outcomes for social workers’ self-efficacy towards job performance.